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JOY!

Joy

"For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" Romans 14:17

There’s no denying the fact that this year’s Christmas will be like none other.  The holiday parties, if we have them at all, will be smaller. Some budgets had to be cut because of layoffs and businesses closing, while others are working overtime due to illnesses in their work place and may not even get the holidays off. Family gatherings may look different, either because there’s less travel, or worries about actually getting together, or even due to loved ones being ill or possibly passed away this year.

In years past, "Christ" has often been taken out of Christmas because of our schedules being so busy, as we got caught up in all the experiences of the season, like where we needed to go, to see, to do and even what to buy. There may not have been enough time to stop and think about the real reason behind the season. We’ve gotten caught in the trappings of Christmas instead of the truth of Christmas.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the trappings of Christmas too. Traditions, music, experiences, and even the gifts… but the truth of Christmas far exceeds the trappings.

So how can we enjoy Christmas this year and celebrate the real reason for the season?

First of all, we need to remember that Christmas is all about us. Say, what? No, that wasn’t a typo.  God loves us.  He became flesh for us, died to forgive our sins, and rose to give us everlasting life. Christmas is the celebration of what Jesus did for us.  So, we need to make sure that we make it all about Him.  We need to be praising Him, serving Him and loving Him.

Secondly, we need to remember others. There’s an old acronym for JOY – Jesus first, Others second, and Yourself last.  This season, build up others and make them feel special. Not just at home, or at church. But all around you. Where ever you need to go this holiday season, say a kind word to the man in front of you in line, let someone have the closer parking space, send a quick note, or a plate of cookies or make a phone call to someone you know who is alone right now.

Stop right now and ask yourself, how can I show the love of Christ to someone this Christmas? Then do it.

Have a blessed day

~Bev

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